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An interdenominational coalition of clergy in Houston is pressing its mayor to rescind the executive orders she issued recently that added sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression as protected classes in Houston.

Nearly two weeks ago, openly gay mayor Annise Parker signed an order “[t]o provide a fair and equitable work environment for all employees” and another to prohibit discrimination and/or retaliation on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity “at every level of the municipal government.”

The latter order, as it specifically states, covers hiring, contracting and/or access to City facilities and programs/activities.

And this, Houston clergymen say, will open women’s restrooms to men, among other results.

“Forcing women in particular using city facilities to be subjected to cross-dressing men invading their privacy is beyond the pale and offensive to every standard of decency,” said Pastor Steve Riggle, senior pastor of Grace Community Church and an Executive Committee member of the Houston Area Pastor Council (HAPC).

“This is not only morally wrong it exposes the city and therefore the taxpayers to endless litigation and expenses,” added Pastor Hernan Castano, senior pastor of Iglesia Rios de Aceite and a member of the HAPC Executive Committee. “It is irresponsible and indefensible.”

Notably, however, supporters of the executive order are insisting that it remains unlawful for men to go into the women’s restroom.

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